Is there is going to be a DL education crash? The "Yet another bad rap..." thread has caused me to revisit my notion that there could possibly be a significant crash in the DL education market occurring in the next few years. While the title of this thread might be a little melodramatic, I'm seeing signs that might point to a crash. This crash would be evidenced by a severe decline in demand that will cause some for-profit schools to disappear and others to severely curtail their operations. I see three contributing factors: 1. Economic frenzy was widespread in the era leading up to the 1929 crash in the stock market. Economic frenzy was a precursor to the .com bubble crash. That same kind of frenzy was apparent just before the bubble pop in the housing market that caused the current severe recession. We are seeing a similar kind of economic frenzy in the profit schools at this time. We talk about the aggressive marketing, high volume and huge profits in these schools and how they are just going nuts with it. It looks like a frenzy that is the precursor to a crash to me. 2. The 1929 crash, the .com bubble and the housing bubble crash were driven by huge amounts of leverage. The over use of financing caused an unstable market in each case that could do nothing but eventually crash. Much of the DL, for-profit boom is driven by huge student loans. When these students can't get jobs, they will eventually default on these loans. Once again, it's an unstable environment like this that foreshadows a crash. 3. In each case, the above crashes were triggered relatively suddenly and exacerbated by negative perceptions and, in some cases, public panic. Bad press about for-profit schools is appearing more frequently than ever. This can do nothing but damage the reputation of DL and for-profit schools. We have always told each other that the reputation of DL is improving and will only get better, but it seems like the media is declaring war on many of the DL schools. Will all of this trigger a backlash against DL in general that might initiate a crash? DL and online education are not going away it is too good of a concept to die. I am optimistic about the long-term viability of online education, however, I fear there will be some difficult times ahead before DL once again begins to prosper. We might see a bit of an employment "depression" as the market is flooded by past employees of the profit schools that could fall or be severely curtailed. I'm not saying this will cause a real depression in the US or world economies. I'm saying this because I have been weighing the ROI of a doctorate degree (as I have been whining about on this board) and don't want to be caught by this possible crash after spending a lot of money myself on a doctorate. Those of us who are just getting started on that track may finish just in time to find that the market for online professors and adjuncts has dried up. I certainly hope that I am wrong about all of this and I welcome your rebuttal.